South Africa’s Vodacom Super 14 challenge has come down to the Cats in week 9. Yes, the circus show in Johannesburg will be the only SA winner on a weekend that sees the Sharks taking time off.
First things first.
The bones have rolled and the Crusaders charge will continue in Christchurch, where the hosts will maintain a winning record in excess of 80 percent over the last decade.
It will be tight but the home ground advantage will be enough to see the Crusaders take the points. They will battle for a bonus point and the win will be between seven and 10.
The Highlanders match up with the Farce is a no brainer. Highlanders to take it but again they won’t run away with it. The Farce haven’t been good enough on the road and they’ve only been marginally better in Perth.
Highlanders by 12 plus
Onto what really counts. The Bulls in Hickville and the Stormers in Auckland. Sorry boys, the boredom has already dulled the Bulls frenzy and as we saw in Auckland the mighty are reduced to rabbits in headlights when they play in New Zealand.
Chiefs to win it by 10.
The Blues will also beat the Stormers but there won’t be much in it. The Stormers are not that bad and the Blues, despite their win against the Bulls, are not that good.
In Canberra the Cheetahs will find the Brumbies too hot, even though Gandolf Fisher’s mob weren’t convincing against the Chiefs. The Cheetahs have a horror run that will see them play the Brumbies, Crusaders and Chiefs. It won’t get ugly in Canberra, but it could be messy.
Brumbies by 12-plus.
And so we come to Frans’ Calamity Cats, the Circus Cats … whatever you want to call them. Their saving grace is that they are up against the rubble Reds … a team only marginally worse than the Cats.
With Andre Pretorius back and the Cats rested, you have to give it to them by 10-plus. I know we took a decision earlier in the season not to roll the bones in favour of the Cats by choice, but there is no way we could roll them for the rubble Reds.
Friday 7 April Crusaders v Waratahs Christchurch
Saturday 8 April Highlanders v W. Force Dunedin
Saturday 8 April Chiefs v Bulls TBC
Saturday 8 April Blues v Stormers Auckland
Saturday 8 April Brumbies v Cheetahs Canberra
Saturday 8 April
Cats v Reds Johannesburg